How can we make Microsoft Teams better?

Support for Private Channels

Looking for the ability to create a channel that only channel members can see. Private channels are available in slack. There is an admin for private channels who is the creator, and they are the ones who add/remove users.

Five types of public/privacy that is being asked for by users:

- Public-Open (visible anywhere including outside the org and anyone can join)
- Public-Invitation (visible anywhere including outside the org, must be invited)
- Company-Open (only visible inside the org and anyone in the org can join; outside the org must be invited)
- Company-Invitation (only visible inside the org, must be invited)
- Secret (invisible to everyone except existing members, must be invited)

14,040 votes
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    We’ll send you updates on this idea

    Angela Sze shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    Hey Microsoft Teams users — I want you to weigh in on new features around channels and group chats. The engineering team and I have put together this survey to find out how you want to see channels improve. You can fill it out here: https://microsoft.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_esTxHdABLQxKLvn

    And I’m still waiting on approval to get you a good update about Private Channels. I can say that we ARE working on it, fervently.

    Thanks and ping me any time, for anything at all: www.twitter.com/skprufo or sparavi@microsoft.com. I’m a little behind on email but catching up, so apologies for delays there!

    Suphatra

    1205 comments

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      • Brandon Bezaire commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        It's becoming increasingly clear Microsoft is "too big" to understand the needs of it's small/mid market customers.

        A team to you guys might be something heavily siloed, with no need to hide private conversations. To us, a team represents our whole department where further siloing would reduce work efficiency.

        We just need a place for our Systems Admins to discuss sensitive topics, without all the UI cruft of creating a new team.

      • ColmC.ie commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I believe that the team truly is working ******* this issue. I suspect that it's a "wicked problem" . i.e. That by fixing what is clearly a "popular" request on user voice Microsoft could break something else more fundamental.
        I get that Teams is a UI for the Office 365 Group concept and it could be more challenging and be more far-reaching a change than many of us appreciate (or perhaps care about) to break inheritance within the O365 Group (i.e. having a group within a group, but that group contains members that aren't in the original group.. I'm getting a headache even thinking about that!!!).
        The survey I believe is indirectly trying to get at the scenarios behind why people would want a private channel (within an existing team) in the first place. It also touches on how a Team owner could respond if it becomes clear that they need to have a "private channel" in an existing team.. e.g. move a channel from one team to another , or create a Team from a conversation thread.
        I've heard of 2 scenarios where people want private channels:
        1) where there is a subset of a group (team leaders) that want a closed channel to communicate (via the conversation pane) in that the team members don't have access to.
        2) where there is a requirement to collaborate with a 3rd party on a task related to a particular project so they'd like to add the 3rd party to a single channel but not give them access to the rest of the Team.

        I could suggest in both cases that they use private group chats in Teams (and name them appropriately). however in both cases they will lose the context of the original Team or project that the original Team (in Teams) provides.
        So now what?...
        I'll continue to assist my organisation with adoption of Teams on the understanding that private channels are NOT coming any time soon. But I look forward to seeing how this one get's solved.

      • Mariah Hammer commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I'm very concerned about the survey as well. It was hard for me to answer those questions, when I really wanted to be able to provide feedback that private channels are way more important than any of those things! Would those features be nice to have? Sure! But private channels are of utmost importance. That should be evident based on the fact that this is the #1 item on UserVoice. The features in the survey would be helpful to fix our Teams once private channels make their extremely related arrival, but we can make-do without them in order to get private channels as quickly as possible.

        I'm continuing to fail to convince the rest of my organization to adopt Teams because everything is messy and convoluted without private channels.

      • Joaquin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Hi Suphatra, I see that this idea has been raised at the end of 2016 and it hasn't yet delivered even the basic flavor which is inside of user own company. Is there a road map that you can share?

      • Communications Director - The Diocese of West Missouri commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I'm concerned that the survey request Oct. 17, 2018, makes zero mention of Private Channels. Moving messages etc. between Teams /Channels and Chat, are not the issue. Having to create multiple unnecessary Teams to keep some aspects of the the work at hand secure, is the issue. We want to reduce the number of Teams, and not have Secure Project related work discussions going on in private chat or in separate Teams.

      • van kempen commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Hi,

        Could please give us some visibility on the timeframe when we can expect private channel

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Teams lacks private channels, that's the main gap in it's functionality. If that's not fixed I suspect we'll start getting recos to move to another tool.

        Our org also has private chat turned off, so nothing relating to chat was relevant -thus "very unlikely"

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I took the survey... I think if there's that much of a need to move, merge, and split... you need to provide more training to your users on how to properly use the tool. Those features might be helpful to an organization that has been using Teams for a long time and needs to rethink their initial Teams strategy and make adjustments. Or if several teams or companies need to combine.

        IMO, being able to easily import conversations from Slack into Teams would be much more beneficial and would increase Teams adoption.

        Our organization would benefit much more from private channels. Private channels helps prevent sprawl and provides a better user experience. I have several use cases now where we need to set up a private channel for the department management team. We already have a department Team. Because private channels are not available we are forced to create another Team. It's really unnecessary for the purpose.

      • Riley commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I just took the survey, and I have to agree with what others are saying on this thread. It is worrying to see those questions in the context of this UserVoice item. As admins, we're trying to prevent team/group sprawl across our tenant. Having granular control over the permissions on each channel is one way to prevent such sprawl. This would allow for subteams within the larger team.

        I really hope that survey was supposed to be directed at a different audience because it is not relevant to creating Private Channels. Some clarification from @Suphatra would be helpful.

      • Johnn commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Echoing the thoughts of everyone else on this thread... WTF was that survey?

        How about a survey with one question: "Do you want private channels?" Yes/No.

        I was hoping by the 2 year anniversary we would have a solution, doesn't look that way.

      • Nathan Alden, Sr. commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Ulf Yes, that's correct; I noticed the same thing. If we are to take the survey at face value, it seems Microsoft's strategy is to include features to manage chats rather than support ACLs that differ by channel. This is *not* a solution to the problem. Creating a new Team is a heavyweight decision with implications beyond where chats are stored. It creates a new Office 365 Group, a new SharePoint, and--most problematic--a new General channel. Why does the new General channel matter? Because it *creates a new silo*. We don't want five teams with five General channels where users won't know which General channel is appropriate to post in. We have one larger team that itself contains smaller subteams. The larger team needs to remain a *single unit*--cohesive--such that team-wide announcements reach everyone. It makes no sense to have separate Teams for such a common orgaization.

      • Ulf Eirik Johnsen commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Hm, as others have already mentioned, the survey does'nt seem to cover the subject of different user access per channel at all.

      • Tomasz Kowalczyk commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Hi Suphatra! Unfortunately survey welcomed me with errors and could not complete. However, lets focus on the Private Channel which is the main topic of the thread. I've been using Slack a lot over last few years. Based on the personal feedback and experience as well as input from teams I work with - there should be no debate if Private channels are needed - they are must have . We've got used to them in Slack because they address specific need and don't force you to create 'Private teams'. Today this is one of the blockers to get people moved from Slack to Teams actually.

        As to some options of privacy - I personally believe this is not productive. A team has a purpose of collaboration - and simpler set up, the better. I don't believe we should use Team as way of outward communication or information to Public / Company wide etc. Either you are part of the team or not. If team needs to communicate outside - they can use yammer or other means.
        Finally for questions about moving threads (this is as far as I went with the survey before getting bombarded with errors) - there is some good idea in this. There are cases where you want to close the channel and move some conversation etc.. But I would not derail focus. Please give us Private Channels first and once this is done - we can talk incremental features. Perhaps digital Santa can give us nice gift this Xmas...

      • Chris commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The survey doesn't relate at all to this Subject I feel. We're looking for the ability to create levels of access to channels within a team, not the ability to split/merge.

      • Mathieu Remy commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I regret that the survey doesn't explore the conversations/channels sharing at all (only move, merge and split)

      • Stuart McBain commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Agree with other comments. Very confused and worried about the survey. We don't need the ability to split, merge, move or spin-off channels. We need the ability to control access to channels within a Team. Including adding an individual to a channel but NOT the full Team, and restricting access to a channel so not all members of the Team can see it.

      • Adam Andersson commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Filled out the survey however as already raised, it is unclear on what it has to do with this user voice. Based on the survey it makes me worried that something completely different is worked at than what we ask for. It would be great if you could push the approval and communicate on the status about Private Channels.

        It is also interesting that a lot of new and coming features are announced at ignite which is great however none of them (besides one I think) do not reflect the top 10 asked User Voice features. Where is the attention to this community? I think the UV is great but it also requires some attention to not loose its credibility.

        Keep up the good work and please share what is happening.

      • Robert commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        What on earth did the survey have to do with what we are asking for here?

        "How likely are you to convert a channel into a new team?" I had to answer "Highly Lightly", but not because that's what we WANT TO DO, but because IT'S A WORK AROUND THE STILL-MISSING PRIVATE CHANNELS.

        So please don't take my answer as an indication that we actually WANT you to spend more energy on making it easier to move Channels: We just wan't the **** private channels that you've promised us for two years by now!

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Thanks Suphatra for the update, but what a disappointing survey that was...
        This had nothing to do with private channels. So I hope when you say your team is 'working on it' that they have the right focus. Because this survey worries me that they are on the wrong track, despite the huge amount of votes on this topic and everyone being very clear about what is needed...

      • Fabrice Romelard [MVP] commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Survey completed, but I don't understand the relation with that Uservoice topic
        Nothing was related to the permission set or channel isolation

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